Friday, December 19, 2014

gingerbread houses

i finally have figured out how to make gingerbread houses as simple as possible.
i hot glue the houses together. each child gets a little house (made with graham crackers.)
i buy a few bags of candy. and a couple tubs of white icing.
i walk around and ice a side of their house at a time, they put the candy on.
they had fun. i was in a bit of a funk that day (the day after my 2 talks..and hosting a big party the night before. i think i was just exhausted...physically and emotionally) but we did it.
 and it's interesting to watch their personalities come out as they consume them. they can eat their candy whenever they want. 2 little boys' houses were bare within 48 hours. the other 4? they are enjoying them little bits at a time.

i loved joshua's icicles :-)

He's coming...

"It had taken centuries for God's people to be ready, but now the time had almost come for the best part of God's plan. God himself was going to come. Not to punish his people - but to rescue them."

{we've read our Jesus Storybook Bible so many times through that it's held together with duct tape. it makes me tear up nearly every time i read it. it's so good. so full of truth. and every page tells the story of how God planned from the beginning of time to send a Rescuer for us. i love december and hope to post like i normally do. but the gift i want to give you above all else is a whisper of the story of God's rescue plan for us --excerpts taken straight from the Jesus Storybook Bible...Jesus coming to earth as a baby...He's coming!!}

Thursday, December 18, 2014

party!!

to say i felt like partying after my talks were over last wee would be an understatement ;-)

it was friday afternoon. and, thankfully, we already had a party happening at our house that night!

but, first, an impromptu "friend friday" - 7 boys in my basement playing some sport (it seemed to change every 15 minutes.) i loved it! while i was cleaning like a mad woman upstairs to get ready for the party (cause i was spending all my spare minutes on my talk!)
this is a little blurry {photo credit: joshua :-)} but precious anyways. our small group...
and just in case you can't see pat's sweater that well...he definitely wore this to work that day! who IS this man?!? :-)
we ate YUMMY food, drank yummy drinks, laughed our heads off and just enjoyed being together! what an incredible day...start to finish!

He's coming...

"God was going to send another Servant... - to forgive all of God's children and heal the terrible sickness in their hearts. Their hearts were broken. But God can mend broken hearts."

{we've read our Jesus Storybook Bible so many times through that it's held together with duct tape. it makes me tear up nearly every time i read it. it's so good. so full of truth. and every page tells the story of how God planned from the beginning of time to send a Rescuer for us. i love december and hope to post like i normally do. but the gift i want to give you above all else is a whisper of the story of God's rescue plan for us --excerpts taken straight from the Jesus Storybook Bible...Jesus coming to earth as a baby...He's coming!!}

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

i will obey no matter what

as long as i trust the source.

i've never been one to question what i'm told to do. even if it's hard. or uncomfortable. and especially if it comes from God.

a month ago, i got a call asking me to speak at our monthly mom's event at church. to say i was stunned is an understatement. i'm not a speaker. {i wish there was a "double bold" option for font.} i have a hard enough time carrying on a conversation with 1 person! and a table discussion with 8 people makes me start sweating, so why was i being asked to speak to 100 women?

but she clearly felt like i was supposed to do it. and needed my answer that day.
before i even hung up the phone, i knew my answer, but "needed to talk to pat first."
i said, yes.
even though i'd never spoken before.
even though i was going to speak on december 12 - smack dab in the middle of all the christmas craziness and i have no time to even keep up with my life as it is.
even though i didn't have anything to say.
even though the thought of it scared me out of my mind.

i knew God was asking me to do it. and i've lived enough life to know that it's better to just go ahead and say, "yes" and get on with learning what He is trying to teach me.

two days later, i got an email asking me to speak to the pastors and elders at our church...at their christmas party...just to thank them for all they do. well, i certainly am thankful for all of them!! but why would i be the one chosen to represent the church body to do that?!? all i could do was laugh at that point. and say yes. oh, and this party was the night before my talk to the mom's group!

i set up some boundaries and carved out some time to dedicate to preparing for the talk. i wasn't able to spend as many hours as i could have if i didn't have 6 kids to take care of, but the hours i did spend were so precious. i looked forward to them and He used them to speak clearly to my heart. pat was also so supportive and generous and helped me guard the time i felt i needed.

so, last week, i put on one of those crazy microphone things around my ear...and down my back...and clipped onto my jeans...TWICE in 24 hours. i walked up onto 2 different stages in front of about 100 people each time, and shared my heart. God gave me the words to speak. and He gave me the confidence to do it. i'm still not a speaker. but i actually enjoyed doing this WAY more than i would have thought i would.
i was SO covered in prayer. it was an amazing feeling. the last time i remember feeling covered and carried like that was when we were in africa. i won't say i wasn't nervous at all {i was SO nervous both times before i walked up on those stages!} but i knew i was where He wanted me to be. and i will walk into ANYthing He asks me to.

i've been praying a lot of big prayers the last half of 2014. lots of, "use me. i will go anywhere...do anything..."

honestly, i would have rather been asked to move to haiti than be asked to stand up and speak to hundreds of people, but i will follow what HE wants me to do, not what i want to do.

He's coming...

"God can take even the biggest mess and make it work in his plan."

{we've read our Jesus Storybook Bible so many times through that it's held together with duct tape. it makes me tear up nearly every time i read it. it's so good. so full of truth. and every page tells the story of how God planned from the beginning of time to send a Rescuer for us. i love december and hope to post like i normally do. but the gift i want to give you above all else is a whisper of the story of God's rescue plan for us --excerpts taken straight from the Jesus Storybook Bible...Jesus coming to earth as a baby...He's coming!!}

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

JOY to the WORLD!

i just can't stop this season. it all feels so NEW and FRESH and full of LIGHT! hallelujah!!

the other day, i was sitting in "my chair" and looked up at my favorite wall:
 and thought, "JOY to the WORLD!" that needs to be hung across this map of the WORLD!

then i had to move on with my day. but i started brainstorming. i didn't want to spend ANY money. i wanted it to stand out, but the map was already so colorful........

this is what i came up with. it cost me NO money. and 30 minutes of time. seriously. i put dinner in the oven, set the timer for 30 minutes, and it was done by the time dinner had to be taken out. these pictures aren't great, because it was dark outside...but i have to take the time when i can get it!

scissors. chalkboard contact paper that i had. chalkboard paint pen. hole punch. twine.
i never measure. i just cut a length of contact paper.
 then cut THAT into 3 strips.
 then cut those into 5 equal-ish rectangles.
 then cut the bottom of each like a pennant.
 then wrote the letters!
then hole-punched the top corners, strung it on twine, and tied the twine around the nails that were already in the wall to hang the map! DONE! i LOVE it!